Only two days until Christmas...I think my 6-year old will soon start counting by minutes :)
Yesterday, for "25 days of Christmas", we did something I've been waiting to do for a while. We had a lot of fun in December as a family. We baked cookies and delivered them to friends and neighbors, we built forts, we read new books, we went to the Dicken's Festival and the Festival of Trees, and many-many other things...We enjoyed every minute of it. But yesterday we finally did something that Christmas is really all about - loving and serving others.
First, we took a donation to the Road Home. The Road Home - is a shelter for homeless families and individuals. Just last month alone they hosted about 1100 people, 196 of them kids. It's honestly heart-breaking to know that these families will spend their Christmas in a shelter.
We took them some new and gently used clothes, new toys and new pillows:
(completely forgot to take any pictures, so here is just a few items on my lap in the car). I actually spent very little money on all of it thanks to coupons, gift cards and drug store rewards. But it's not even about the money at all...
Right across the street from the Road Home there is a Catholic Mission home that shelters more homeless people and provides for some of their needs. But the needs are higher than both of these places can provide. We saw people sleeping on the streets. Didn't take any pictures due to privacy issues for these people. But it was a very humbling experience for our whole family and made us think yet again at how abundantly blessed we really are!
After that we went to the Food Bank. We took a little donation there too, and they gave us a tour around the building:
It's impressive how much work and love they put into this place. This is the main warehouse where food is collected and then distributed to smaller places around the state:
They showed us how the food is collected, packed and wrapped with plastic. They have lots of programs for volunteering, and we are looking forward to do some of them next year with the Kid.
Overall, yesterday was an amazing experience and a great lesson for our whole family. And I know it will be our new Christmas tradition from now on!
And if you are wondering how we did with the rest of the things in our "25 days of Christmas", well we didn't finish all of it :) But there are only two things we didn't do. First, we didn't get a train ride with kids in a mall (we had a kiddy train that would go through the whole mall). We tried, I promise, we tried, but unfortunately they moved the train to a different mall, and we decided that it's not worth the gas.
The other thing we never did is we never got the outdoor lights up :( I know, we are lame. There was one thing after another (or somebody was just lazy...not to point fingers at my significant other who is sitting on the couch in front of me..), so we just never did it. But at least, we saved on electricity, right?...( insert a big big sigh here...I do love my lights...)